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Hockey Australia upset with comments against coach Charlesworth

New Delhi, Jan 17 : Hockey Australia (HA) will be discussing the comments made by Hockey India (HI) secretary general Narinder Batra about their head coach Ric Charlesworth after the competition ends.


At a press conference here Friday, Batra asked the Australia coach to undergo "mental and psychological treatment" after a foreign journalist pointed out that Charlesworth had said that "it was a disgrace" to see empty stands at the ongoing Hockey World League Final.

"We will be discussing the matter with HI at the conclusion of the event about the specific comments we feel were inappropriate regarding our highly respected coach Ric Charlesworth," HA chief executive Cam Vale said in a statement.

On being questioned about the same, Charlesworth said he was unsure if he had made any such comments.

"I doubt I used the word disgraceful. But it is certainly disappointing to see the crowds here. You have two of the best teams in the world playing the semi-final and you hardly had 400 people turning up. May be Batra needs some patients for his hospital," said Charlesworth, who was a member of the 1986 World Cup winning Australian squad.

Crowd turnout at the 16,000-seater Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium has so far been quite poor and the semi-final between Australia and the Netherlands Friday hardly saw 300-400 people.

Charlesworth has had a troublesome past vis-a-vis Indian hockey when he was named technical advisor of the eight-time Olympic champions in 2008.

After negotiations with the K.P.S. Gill-led Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), which governed the sport in India then, broke down, the former Australia captain had to cut short his contract only after 10 months.

The 1976 Olympic silver medallist started his coaching stint with Australia in 2009 which won the 2010 World Cup and the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold.

--IANS (Posted on 17-01-2014)

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